It slowly dawned on me sometime between my 30th and 40th birthdays. You know, the realization that even though you’ve always believed yourself to be something special, better than “average,” whatever that means... In reality, you are just that, average, mediocre, middling, You're pretty good at some things that you’re interested in, but not so great with most everything else. And you never will be, even with dedication and perseverance. At most endeavors, you pretty much "suck," just like most of the rest of us. Even so, most of us are able to “get by.”
When the realization first strikes, you’re devastated, in denial, depressed; the whole macho self-image collapses. But once you get past the initial shock, things begin to mellow out. No more rationalizing your near misses and downright failures. You quit blaming everyone and everything else for your lack of splendor. That takes most of the pressure off. You can start living with more realistic expectations, like that you’re probably not going to be a great rock/movie/journalist star, or become one of the influential elite in any category; learn to be satisfied with what you have, friends and family.
It’s actually liberating, in that it allows you to relax and just live your life the best you can, without apology or regret. You take your life in stride, accept your limitations, and do your best to enjoy the show. And you might as well enjoy it, it beats the misery of whining and crying about it. You create your own heaven or hell, depending on whether you enjoy the show, or beg for the mercy of oblivion. I’ve tried both, enjoying the show works much better, at least for me.
And, yes you can make a conscious decision to enjoy it or not. Sometimes it takes some mental discipline, meditation, joking about it, or just taking a long walk, but you can make the conscious choice whether to enjoy it or hide in fear of it. It’s up to you. Ah, for a life of mediocrity...